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Cold Warrior
06-22-2008, 08:59 AM
Yesterday evening I decided that I would make my first attempt at baking bread, as I really wanted some Olive Bread like we had in France, but couldn't find any here in the sticks. So, I found an olive bread recipe and baked it. It came out a bit heavy, i.e., the crust was perfect, but the inside was not light and fluffy enough. I suspect this could be for one of three reasons, or a combination of all three:

1. I used baking soda, and not yeast as the recipe called for. I couldn't find any yeast in the supermarket (I used to get it all the time in Saudi, but not to bake bread :D). I used the same measure of baking soda as was called for of yeast

2. The (black) olives were damp and could have contributed to the heaviness

3. My girlfriend, who can't open a can, says I didn't knead the dough enough

Any ideas from those of you who have baked bread?


I chose my apparel, I wore a beer barrel
And they rolled me to the very first row
I held a big sign that said, 'Kiss me I'm a baker
And Monty I sure need the dough'
Then I grabbed that sucker by the throat until he called on me
'Cause my whole world lies waiting behind door number three

bijou
06-22-2008, 09:06 AM
It was the lack of yeast which was the problem. There would be natural yeasts in any wheat flour but to get it to rise substantially you'd need to add yeast, otherwise you end up with something of the texture of either a flatbread or a German style rye bread.

The damp olives are unlikely to have much effect as you would have liquid in the form of water and/or olive oil depending on what basic bread recipe you followed.

Shannon
06-22-2008, 11:39 AM
I don't bake. I just wanted to defend your girlfriend and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with not being able to open a can.:mad:

Bubba Dawg
06-22-2008, 11:48 AM
Bijou's Right CW. Gotta have yeast. Would you care to post that recipe? Sounds good.

And Shannon is also right because...she's Shannon.

Cold Warrior
06-22-2008, 11:56 AM
Bijou's Right CW. Gotta have yeast. Would you care to post that recipe? Sounds good.

And Shannon is also right because...she's Shannon.

Here ya' go...


Mediterranean Black Olive Bread (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mediterranean-Black-Olive-Bread/Detail.aspx)

INGREDIENTS
3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped black olives
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon cornmeal

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, salt, black olives, olive oil, and water.
2. Turn out dough onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside, and let rise about 45 minutes, until it doubles in size. Punch down. Knead well again, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Let rise for about 30 minutes, until it doubles in size.
3. Round the dough on kneading board. Place upside down in a bowl lined with a lint-free, well floured towel. Let rise until double in size.
4. While the bread is rising for the third time, put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
5. Gently turn loaf out onto a sheet pan that has been lightly oiled and dusted with cornmeal.
6. Bake loaf at 500 degrees F (260 degrees C) for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake for 30 more minutes, or until done.

biccat
06-22-2008, 12:01 PM
When you buy yeast, make sure you check the expiration date. Try to get the freshest you can find. If the yeast is dead, you're going to have the same problem.

Also make sure to proof the yeast in some warm water before you mix it in.

Bubba Dawg
06-22-2008, 12:21 PM
Here ya' go...

Thanks. Sounds good.

megimoo
06-22-2008, 12:51 PM
Yesterday evening I decided that I would make my first attempt at baking bread, as I really wanted some Olive Bread like we had in France, but couldn't find any here in the sticks. So, I found an olive bread recipe and baked it. It came out a bit heavy, i.e., the crust was perfect, but the inside was not light and fluffy enough. I suspect this could be for one of three reasons, or a combination of all three:

1. I used baking soda, and not yeast as the recipe called for. I couldn't find any yeast in the supermarket (I used to get it all the time in Saudi, but not to bake bread :D). I used the same measure of baking soda as was called for of yeast

2. The (black) olives were damp and could have contributed to the heaviness

3. My girlfriend, who can't open a can, says I didn't knead the dough enough

Any ideas from those of you who have baked bread?Make sure the olives are drained of any liquid and if you decide that you would like to try sourdough give me a shout !
Baking soda is used to neutralize the acid in the other ingredients like milk.For Bread its either natural leavening or yeast only .Soda bread is for the poor Irish !
Give this a try and don't give up .Baking bread is an acquired art form the more often you bake the better you get.

Sourdough Olive Bread

14 oz. cold water
2 tbls dry yeast (look around in the bread isle in any super market look for a small jar of fleishmans yeast)
10 oz sourdough starter (If you dont want sourdough omit )
1 lb. 10 oz. bread flour
1 T. fine sea salt
1 1/2 C pitted kalamata olives (I prefer them chopped)
2 t. chili flakes (Mike says, "I use chili pequin flakes")
2 T. chopped fresh rosemary

Combine water and starter in mixing bowl and mix to break up starter. Add flour and water until mix comes together but does not clear sides of bowl (4-5 minutes). Cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit 20 minutes.

Remove wrap and add the salt. Mix well on low speed for 2 minutes. Turn mixer speed to medium and mix 6-8 minutes more until dough snaps back quickly. (Dough temperature should be between 68-74 degrees F). Add in remaining ingredients to blend. (Some people think the chili pepper and rosemary are optional. I think they are an essential part of the flavor balance of the bread. Even if you're a total wuss when it comes to spicy foods, give the chili pepper and rosemary a try.)

Cover dough and let ferment at room temperature until not quite doubled. "A Better way is to place in a warm oven (about 100 f )on a cookie sheet covered with a slightly damp towel not touching the dough and let it rise until doubled ."

Punch dough down, divide in half, and shape gently into two balls. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Form into rounds, or batards and place on a cornmeal dusted baking sheet (or use willow baskets) and cover loosely with greased plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator and chill 12-18 hours.
(all this does is allow the dough to 'poof' that is rise slowly.Try omiting this step if you are in a hurry .)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Let bread dough come to room temperature - 2 to 3 hours. Uncover loaf, remove from baskets if using and slash a decorative pattern on top.

(Use a single edge razor blade) Spray oven with water and close door quickly. (If you have an electric oven all of this spraying crap will or could cause problems down the road )(Just mop the top of the loves with water whan you put them in the oven and again about half way done,about ten minutes .That will make them crusty )

Open door and place bread inside and spray again. Let bake 3 minutes and spray again. Repeat spraying 2 more times then let bread bake for 10 minutes undisturbed. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees F. and bake until deep golden brown and loaf temperature registers 190 degrees F.

Cold Warrior
06-22-2008, 12:59 PM
Make sure the olives are drained of any liquid and if you decide that you would like to try sourdough give me a shout !
Baking soda is used to neutralize the acid in the other ingredients like milk.For Bread its either natural leavening or yeast only .Soda bread is for the poor Irish !
Give this a try and don't give up .Baking bread is an acquired art form the more often you bake the better you get.
...


Thanks, Megs! I certainly won't give up as I like to cook very much. This was, however, my first foray with any pastry/bread. I'll give yours a shot next weekend and let you know. :D

lurkalot
06-22-2008, 07:07 PM
don't put the yeast in too hot of water, use a thermometer if necessary until you learn the correct feel..or you will kill all the little buggers the eat the dough, fart and give off enough gas to make your bread fluffy...
(and people wonder why my did quit eating bread?)
i have a great sourdough starter recipe and a KITCHEN FULL of sourdough if you are so inclined..

biccat
06-22-2008, 08:02 PM
don't put the yeast in too hot of water, use a thermometer if necessary until you learn the correct feel..or you will kill all the little buggers the eat the dough, fart and give off enough gas to make your bread fluffy...
(and people wonder why my did quit eating bread?)
i have a great sourdough starter recipe and a KITCHEN FULL of sourdough if you are so inclined..
I've always wanted to make sourdough, but I don't want to mess with the starter. Seems like a lot of work, and not worth it unless you're going to bake a lot of bread.

megimoo
06-22-2008, 09:02 PM
I've always wanted to make sourdough, but I don't want to mess with the starter. Seems like a lot of work, and not worth it unless you're going to bake a lot of bread.

It's not a lot of work at all.To begin with starter is the way most people in America baked bread before the turn of the century.It is nothing more that saving a small piece of the dough used to make bread ,keeping it warm and feeding it occasionally.Starter is in two parts from two different wild bacteria .One type bug generates CO 2 by breaking down the sugar,this is what makes the dough rise.The other produces that distinctive 'sour' taste.

I bake about two loves a week of what ever takes my fancy .I use mostly long bread pans and produce a smoth loaf that I cut in half and store in plastic ziplock bags in the freezer. I use the bread sliced every morning for toast and sandwiches.Total time to make the bread is about two hours on a saturday morning !

You could try and make a starter by capturing a 'wild bug' but this is hit or miss.The easiest way is to find someone to share their proven starter with you. Some of these starters go way back in American history.
As I remember Carl's goes back to Wagon Train days to Oregan in 1847.

I keep mine in a pair of flat plastic containers over the refrigerator where it's nice and warm.Every few days I take it down and feed it a bit of dried potato flakes and a little flour and water.After feeding it I pour some off and either save it to make bread or dump it down the sink.After feeding it take it down after an hour to see it working up bubbles and a sour smell and Stick your finger into it to taste the sour flavor !
Here is the place to get free sourdough starter seed.

How to Get Carl's sourdough Starter
USA Residents
Send a self-addressed, stamped (41) #10 envelope [SASE41] to:
Oregon Trail Sourdough
P. O. Box 321
Jefferson, MD 21755 USA

A #10 envelope, also called, in the USA, a "business-size envelope", measures about 9-1/2 inches by 4-1/8 inches (24 cm by 10.5 cm). European size DL is close enough. If such an envelope is not available, simply send postage (or currency as below) plus your postal address, and we will provide an envelope.

Normally, it could take up to six weeks for your start to get to you, but it probably won't.
Cost:
There is no charge for the starter. Occasional unsolicited donations offset costs of distribution and production to allow us to carry on Carl's tradition of not requesting a fee

After awhile your envelope will show up with a tiny bit of dry sourdough seed.There will be included directions on how to bring it back to life.

The way I use mine is to add yeast and starter when I bake any bread.The yeast provides the 'foolproof' rise and the sourdough provides the distinctive sourdough taste.

I bake White bread,Whole Wheat,Rye Wheat,Potato Onion Rye and just about every other combination you can think of and all sourdough .I even put sourdough in blueberry coffee cake for the distinctive taste.

linda22003
06-23-2008, 11:07 AM
As the others have told you, a recipe which calls for yeast really means it. You can't make substitutions and expect to get a good result. What you got was probably a lot like Irish Soda Bread in terms of texture and density. That's fine if that's what you're aiming for. (I hate Irish soda bread).

I got to missing our Paris breakfasts, so I now make brioche sometimes when the craving hits.

linda22003
06-23-2008, 11:09 AM
I used to make bread from sourdough starter until I started to feel like I couldn't go on vacation or leave the house for any extended period of time. I gave it up, but gave some of the starter to a neighbor, sort of like keeping the Olympic flame going.

Odysseus
06-23-2008, 03:03 PM
As the others have told you, a recipe which calls for yeast really means it. You can't make substitutions and expect to get a good result. What you got was probably a lot like Irish Soda Bread in terms of texture and density. That's fine if that's what you're aiming for. (I hate Irish soda bread).
I got to missing our Paris breakfasts, so I now make brioche sometimes when the craving hits.

Our anniversary is coming up, and my wife loves fresh baked bread. You guys have given me a cool idea for a gift...

linda22003
06-23-2008, 03:16 PM
Don't you DARE give her a breadmaker. Presents do not have cords.

biccat
06-23-2008, 03:53 PM
Don't you DARE give her a breadmaker. Presents do not have cords.
But wives do. If you take them too far from the kitchen, they stop working altogether.

linda22003
06-23-2008, 03:56 PM
But wives do. If you take them too far from the kitchen, they stop working altogether.

Sadly, many wives work very well all day.... and then have to turn out a lovely veal piccata for dinner! That's what I'll be doing. :)

I should have asked him what number anniversary it is.

Cold Warrior
07-16-2008, 08:48 AM
Wanted to bring this thread back up to thank everyone for the recipes and suggestions. You were correct in that I needed to use the yeast, not baking soda. I've made four loaves since the original thread and have now pretty well mastered the amount of water, kneading, rising, etc. The last two have been very fluffy, with lots of black olives and just a hint of Italian cheeses. :D

Good stuff, but takes a lot of work.

linda22003
07-16-2008, 08:54 AM
Most good stuff does, CW. :)

megimoo
07-16-2008, 09:08 AM
Wanted to bring this thread back up to thank everyone for the recipes and suggestions. You were correct in that I needed to use the yeast, not baking soda. I've made four loaves since the original thread and have now pretty well mastered the amount of water, kneading, rising, etc. The last two have been very fluffy, with lots of black olives and just a hint of Italian cheeses. :D

Good stuff, but takes a lot of work.What's next in the bread oven CW ?
How about making your own English muffins or Crumpets ?

Cold Warrior
07-16-2008, 11:29 AM
What's next in the bread oven CW ?
How about making your own English muffins or Crumpets ?

How hard is it to make Yorkshire Pudding? I really love a good Sunday roast!

Gingersnap
07-16-2008, 11:39 AM
How hard is it to make Yorkshire Pudding? I really love a good Sunday roast!

Try this recipe: Yorkshire Pudding (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-and-Easy-Yorkshire-Pudding/Detail.aspx).